If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
If I Was Your Girl is an excellent contemporary that hit the spot with me. It has its own unique premise, but one that isn’t overly unique to the world we live in today. I don’t read many transgender contemporaries, so I was eager to get my hands on this one.
Title: If I Was Your Girl
Author: Meredith Russo
Publish Date: May 3, 2016
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher’s Description: Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school. Like anyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret, and she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.
But when she meets sweet, easygoing Grant, Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she realizes just how much she is losing by guarding her heart. She finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself, including her past. But Amanda’s terrified that once she tells him the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.
Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that at her old school, she used to be Andrew. Will the truth cost Amanda her new life, and her new love?
Meredith Russo’s If I Was Your Girl is a universal story about feeling different—and a love story that everyone will root for.
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Kat Mandu says…
Besides the lead character, Amanda, getting used to walking around in her own skin, this story really has a pretense of “everyone has secrets.” Not just the narrator—everyone. It doesn’t guarantee that she’s going to be the highlight of everything because she’s got this huge secret. It just means that she understands that everyone else may have something deep to hide and therefore, seems to have a better understanding of the way things should work, even if they don’t always work out the way she plans.
I really love the characters that come into play, especially all the girls and their unique personalities. These aren’t just popular clones that want to bully those they feel inferior. They’re actually quite nice girls, one with a very religious background, and one with a secret (she’s a lesbian). Even the love interest, Grant, seems to have his own issues, trying to juggle school, a few jobs, and taking care of his family as he comes off as poor.
I really wish it wouldn’t have been a dance as the main focus of the end because that’s when it became very predictable. It seems like a lot of YA have a dance and that’s where all the scandals and climaxes come rushing out. For once, I’d like to see something different.
That being said, I didn’t dislike the dance scene. I mean, it was the turning point near the end where a lot of those secrets came out to play and changed the changed the future course (dramatically for quite a few) for most of the characters. But I like how it ended and I liked the relationships between all her friends, her maybe-boyfriend, and Amanda’s father.
There are a lot of different reactions that Amanda has to deal with. Grant, finding out that she’s really a man and having to question his own sexuality; her father, who has always tried to convince Amanda she’s really just “Andrew” and needs to get over it; and her friends, who have mixed reactions. I like how each one is given a new take and is explored to the full extent.
Overall, this gets four stars from me.
Recommended for fans of Adam Silvera, Jaye Robin Brown, and Alison Cherry.